Monday, 6 July 2015

Neil Roberts - Brawl in the name of art.

Oh that Dredd, you can't take him anywhere without him kicking off! I wonder if he's got ADHD? Neil 'The Abs' Roberts brings us this 'smashing' image of Dredd making friends in the Emerald Isle. It's a well known fact that Neil is an absolute martyr to art, being one of 2000AD's premier 'Method Artists' and so, gentle reader, for us, and for the sake of all art, Neil quite immersed himself in all manner of alcoholic delights to bring us this scrotnig cover.
Over to Neil, who despite a debilitating hangover, bravely decided to tell us about the creation of the cover. WARNING: Contains nudity, violence and nuts. 
"It always starts off with a brief from Tharg, this time it was Dredd having a bar fight in an Emerald Isle pub. Awesome - one of my favourite covers of all time is Steve Dillon's 'Emerald Isle' piece:" 

'My Judgeness, my Guinness'

"...ooh, the composition, those colours, the draughtsmanship!"
"So, I drew a sketch of the main gesture, using my imagination and a very never-to-be-seen semi-naked reference photo of myself:"

The Flash?
Neil continues "Oh, what the heck, because we're all friends here anyway, here's a peak at that pic..." Will nobody think of the children!?! 

A profile view of a naked dianoga from Star Wars
Neil continues "All that working out finally pays off! Then I refined it into a full thumbnail for approval, using some of those emerald greens to reinforce the setting and also pay homage to that Steve Dillon image..."

"Did you spill my pint?"

And now, in the name of art, I bring you, ahem... grown men fun fighting. "Then I went and took some pictures of my drinking buddies getting into a fight, y'know for the sake of authenticity..."


As the brief was going well and Neil was obviously at the height of his professional powers, he decided to take the risk of another sacrifice in the name of Thrill Power "So then it was off to the pub... to take more reference photo's of course, honest!"
"I visited one of my favourite local establishments and one that perfectly suited the mood of the piece, big thanks to Ben, the Boss!"

Kicked in the Cobbles! 
I took a pic of my favourite bar stools, all in the name of reference:

A stool sample from Neil. 
 "And the all-important bar itself, all in the name of reference - mine's a Jack Daniels and Coke, please, and I'll double up for a pound..." Hmmm, I always had Neil down as a Babycham man to be honest...

 Where's the bloody bar staff? I'm dying here!
"And remember, it's all done in the name of reference. With all that reference gathered (and having drunk a few 'reference' drinks) I went ahead and painted up the final piece:"

 When Irish Eyes are Crying
However, I sneaked into Neil's studio and found his original post-pub version (shown below,) absolutely disgusting...
 Luckily, the little flecks of vomit don't show up in this photo...
And here's how the cover looked to Neil...
"Hic! Shuper..."
"BLAM! POW! KERRASSSH! Right, I might just have a drink to celebrate this issue coming out... maybe just a cup of tea this time, though."
And here's how that very prog looks on your prog shelf...
"I said 'No drokking ice!'"
Let us all raise our glasses and thank the wonderful Neil Roberts and his drunken muses. I can hear Tharg charging up that Rigellion Hotshot right now as his expenses bill comes in...
Please be sure to check out Neil's wonderful site and blog here, for more amazing artwork which I assume he painted when sober...

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Paul Marshall & Chris Blythe - Cloudy with a chance of heid the baws!

All hail Nordland as Prog 1937 brings us the return of Kapiten-Inspector Atalia Jaegir of the Norland State Security Police. The war crimes investigator and her team find themselves in a harsh work camp on the military garrison world of Tartarus, what grisly goings on will she uncover?
The mighty one tasked fan favourites Paul Marshall and Christ Blythe with bringing us this chilling propaganda style poster for the cover and they seriously didn't disappoint.
Below we see Paul's initial ideas as he plays with layout and perspective...
"I've got this dial on muh head, see?"
Tharg obviously went for the crowd scene, for which I'm sure Paul was delighted...

 The crowds gather for the annual Norland S&M convention.
With the sketch done, Paul drafts his pencils. Amazing to see all those hand drawn heads in this age of Photoshop...
"Nein! I'm not scared of lightning... aiiieeee!!!"

Then the image is inked. At this point I checked with Paul that there were no digital shenanigans with the cover and he really inked all those heads to which he replied "I did... such fun!" Tharg really is a hard taskmaster!

The Norts' world record attempt for biggest selfie.
The image was sent to master colourist Chris Blythe who had the unenviable task of adding colour to the tens of thousands of Nort troops. I'm sure you'll agree he did an amazing job, those chem clouds are particularly impressive! What a striking image... 

 "Okay, who farted?"
My thanks to Paul and Chris for sending the images, may the diktatorat bless them! If you want to see more of Chris' work, check out his Deviant Art gallery, there are some classic 2000AD pages there, including previous projects with Paul...
Francisco drokking hated windows!
As well as some stonkers from Jaegir artist Simon Coleby...
Just another day in the Cursed Earth for Dredd.
Dredd does a Paula Radcliffe in Bato Loco...

Friday, 19 June 2015

Tiernen Trevallion - Cross Eyed D.I.

Prog 1936 sports a mean and moody, two tone masterpiece by the amazing Tiernen Trevallion as the creative team behind one of 2000AD's best modern characters brings us his darkest tales yet. 'Under a False Flag' sees Harry and his team investigate a spate of grisly murders that link to the highest echelons of power and children's homes of the 1980s. Surely that kind of thing could never happen, eh?
Tiernen was kind enough to send a bunch of images showing his artistic process. Firstly, we get those wonderful pencils, soooo good...    
The long awaited Absalom/Crossed crossover event.
And here's the cover with every liver spot, mole, crease, thread vein and wrinkle gorgeously inked. This really is an incredible image... 

The years have not been kind...

What I've loved about all of Tiernen's covers is his restrained use of colour, each one being a beautiful contrast of two colours. Below, we see the artist's signature cold blues...

A touch of frost?

Tiernen adds a flaming cross as the link with the shady goings on of the church are made eerily explicit...

Careful Harry! You'll singe your eyebrows!

For reason's of design, it looks like the cross was moved and made less opaque, thankfully it doesn't diminish the effect in the slightest!

Jeez Harry, you're on the cover of the prog, you could have made a bloody effort!

And here's how the prog looks on your shelf, curmudgeonly!

Church ill?
Huge thanks to Tiernen for sending the images, they're truly amazing! If you're a fan of his and Gordon Rennie's Absalom, I'd heartily recommend Robbie Burns Witch Hunter, which is a cracking read with absolutely eye popping art! 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Karl Richardson - Green Eyed Monster!

Yes! Prog 1935 sees the return of Outlier by Tom Eglington and Karl Richardson. I loved this series when it debuted back in Prog  1874. For those with short memories, There's a recap of this gruesome revenge story after the main article.
The new story takes place six months after the events of the last series as private investigator Carcer awaits trial in a military recovery centre. Carcer is haunted by flashbacks, panic attacks and strange visions following his encounter with the Hurde weapon Caul. The human authorities are desperate to learn the secrets of the Hurde, with Carcer being the only person to have survived multiple encounters with this terrifyingly powerful race...
In Karl's sketch below, we see Carcer's turmoil, and a hint to a deeper link to the Hurde...

Yuck! Somone gobbed on Carcer!

The sketch is fleshed out, with further detail and colour tests added...
 Bollocks! Carcer had ran out of his favourite mud pack.
The 2000AD logo is added to play with composition and interactivity with the cover. That's the old logo Karl, get with the program Granddad!

Get your new Carcer string puppet, only from Hurdco! 

With composition nailed, Karl begins to digitally paint the cover...

 Yeuch! Carcer's finger had gone through the toilet paper AGAIN!

Most of the skin done...

 Oh no! Carcer had lost five of his new fake fingernails.
More gruesome details added as he painting progresses...

Ouch! Carcer knew he shouldn't have sat on that thorny patch!  

And the finished painting. Poor Carcer, that looks bloody painful!

Ooo-oh, I Hurde it through the gray vine! 

And here's how the prog looks on your shelf, terrifying!

Someone has stolen my accordion!
HUGE thanks to Karl for sending the images. I'm a big fan of Karl's artwork and I really hope we see some double page splashes to rival the gobsmacking ones of the last series! Thanks again Karl!
The ominously titled Outlier: Dark Symmetries begins in Prog 1935.
  Better Call Caul - Outlier, the Story So Far...
One by one, the crew who served on a scavenger ship called The Outlier were being ripped apart by a killer of impossible strength and cruelty. The ship's captain, Ramona Farson, hires private eye Jared Carcer to track down the killer before she is added to his list of unfortunate victims. Carcer is augmented with optical implants that allow him to see beyond the visible spectrum, a gruesome gift given to him when he and his family were captured and tortured by an alien race known as 'The Hurde' when he was a child.
Carcer discovers that the killer is an ex-crewmember of the Outlier, a lowly cook named Caul. It seems the Outlier ran into a stricken Hurde vessel and ventured aboard to salvage it's valuable cargo. Caul was forced aboard the ship by Farson, who then left him and his girlfriend to die when the Hurde returned to the ship.
Caul was captured and tortured, being forced to watch the girl he loved being slowly ripped apart by the evil Hurde. Caul himself was eviscerated, as the Hurde studied and collected every organ in his body. The Hurde used this knowledge to turn Caul into tan unstoppable hybrid killer, hell bent on revenge...

Newcastle supporters at a Primark sale.
Farson gathers together the remaining crew of the Outlier to lure Caul into a trap. However, we discover that the duplicitous ship's captain is really working for a powerful weapons company called Falcorp, who will pay big bucks to get their hands on Hurde technology.  
Alright! Alright! Calm down!

Caul springs the trap, ripping apart the surviving members of Outlier's ill-fated mission. While Caul gets on with his grisly task, Falcorp are studying him, extracting the last few pieces of a mysterious script that will give them the keys to the Hurde's advanced technology. When the final fragments of data were extracted, Falcorp sent a pulse that rendered the killer immobile.
However, it turns out that this was simply a Hurde trap. They never wanted humanity to have access to their script and sent a modified copy of Caul to destroy humanity's knowledge base of the Hurde archives. As Caul explodes, he sends out a pulse that destroys both Farson's base and Falcorp's computers, wiping out mankind's knowledge of the Hurde's secrets.
Carcer manages to escape from Farson's base before it blows but is arrested for helping Falcorp with it's murderous mission. We discover that Caul was simply a cypher, created by the Hurde from their vast archive database. A database that somewhere holds copies of all their victims, including Caul, his girlfriend as well as the members of Carcer's family...

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Glenn Fabry - Firestarter!

 Dredd shoots himself. It's like the Apocalypse War all over again...

Here's Glenn Fabry's cover to Megazine 360, where Dredd sends another logo to RESYK! It's another trademark painted masterpiece by Glenn who is pitching a sketchbook on Kickstarter. So, if you're a fan of Glenn's work (and let's face it, who isn't!?!) be sure to check out his Kickstarter page and pledge a few quid!

Of course, this isn't the first time the logo has been aggressively retired by wayward comic characters, Slaine gave it the chop back in Prog 1199 courtesy of Mark Harrison...

Axe-idents will happen!

John Higgins was a repeat offender at painting this erm... repeat offender.

 Maybe that citizen could get some green paint and make Dredd's pads the right colour!!!

Banksy finally gets caught...
Cliff Robinson destroys the logo of Prog 704...

"I said 'Hotshot!'"

A Steve Tappin's death of Rogue sees the death of a logo too.

Rogue has had his chips!

Enough logo abuse! I say it stops now! Write to your MP and demand equal rights for 2000AD logos!

Thanks to Glenn for sending the Meg cover. Go check out his sketchbook page Earthlets!